The Great Jersey Debate

For years now, the pride and joy of my St. Louis Cardinals attire has been my Willie McGee jersey.


I’m not, by any means, retiring old #51 (like the Cardinals should). But, as my only jersey, I’m worried about it not holding up too much longer. It’s already five or six years old, and now that I go to 40 games per year, well…you get the idea.

You may be asking yourself how it’s possible that a fan like myself only owns one Cardinal jersey. I ask myself that same question from time to time. I used to have another. After the 1998 home run chase, I got a Mark McGwire batting practice jersey. I was a big McGwire fan and wore that jersey everywhere. I even wore it on vacation to Cabo San Lucas in 2000. Five of my buddies and I went down there for Sammy Hagar’s Birthday Bash at his Cabo Wabo Cantina. In a less-than-sober moment, I decided it would be really cool to toss my beloved jersey up onto the stage because Hagar is known for wearing whatever clothes, hats, banners, etc. fans manage to fling at him. The good news is, my throw was good.


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The bad news is, I never saw that jersey again.

So I need another jersey. I’d like an Albert Pujols or Yadier Molina jersey…they’re my favorite current Cardinals. But I love the retro jersey look. And there’s always that risk, when you get the jersey of a current player, that he’ll get traded or sign somewhere else or, as in the case of McGwire, not be there to talk about the past anymore. For instance, when McGee was playing for the A’s, Red Sox, or Giants during the 90’s I wouldn’t have bought his jersey. And I believe that Pujols and Molina are relatively certain to be Cardinals for a long time, but I kind of thought that about Scott Rolen a few years back, too. 

There’s always the all-timers: Stan Musial, Bob Gibson, Lou Brock, Ozzie Smith. And players that maybe weren’t the greatest but had tons of character: Mike Shannon, Al Hrabosky, Andy Van Slyke. Or maybe I’ll just play it safe and get a nameless batting practice jersey. I have plenty of Cardinals t-shirts and hats and such, but I see this jersey decision as a big deal. Feel free to leave your suggestions below; I can’t promise I’ll follow them but I will read them. Let the debate begin. 


About ccr5150


Posted on February 23, 2009, in Baseball Dailies and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. I’ve been in the same boat, my friend, with my team. I’m weary of buying a Yankees jersey in fear that the player won’t be around long enough to make it work. Plus, with being a pretty big hombre, I just wasn’t sure who I should get. I always like the guys everyone else doesn’t, or the guys who don’t get jerseys made (Sturtze was one I wanted, Mientkiewicz was another). I was all set to get my Bobby Abreu #34 jersey, but he’s now an Angel.

    I’m looking at maybe settling down with an 8-year commitment to #52. He’s big, I’m big. We’re both all smiles and allegedly infectuous. We’ll have to see if this year is the year!

    Rosh Koch //

  2. I’d go with the nameless batting practice shirt. Then you never have to worry about the name on the back.


  3. Truly fun post. Sorry about the Big Mac jersey! I covered Willie McGee during his days with the Giants and got to know him as a really great guy. There are some players you wish you hadn’t met because they ruin the hero-worship status you had given them over the years as a fan in the stands. Not Willie. His favorite saying to us in the media was always: “I just wanna be me, Willie McGee.”


  4. That’s great to hear, Mark. I almost got to meet him when I was a kid; my family and I had stuck around after a game and he walked right by us. We told him, “Good Game, Willie!” and he answered back with a sincere thank you. Had he not been carrying his little girl on his shoulders I’d have asked for an autograph, but even as a kid I knew that I couldn’t bring myself to disturb his family time. I still can’t believe the Cardinals haven’t retired his #51. I doubt any player meant as much to all three of their 80’s playoff teams than Wille McGee.

  5. I’d have to go with Julia on this one — the nameless batting practice jersey. Very versatile and oh-so-stylish. Of course, personally, I have my eye on that 1935 Boston Braves No. 3 jersey . . .


  6. Great post man! Honestly, going with the numberless/nameless jersey isn’t such a bad idea, especially if you’re into the old school retro jerseys. I don’t think the idea of getting an Albert Pujols jersey is a good one, honestly, because we all know when his contract for St. Louis is up, he’ll be a New York Met in no time 🙂 hahaha. But seriously, I’d go with this one.–Cardinals-1944-Home-Jersey—Stan–Musial__7229-425-44SMUSI.aspx

    – Donnie

  7. This is no easy question to answer! A jersey is also a larger financial investment than a simple t-shirt, so you have to choose wisely. In my opinion, you’re best to go with getting the jersey of an all-time great, but one whose name is not usually put on jerseys. A guy I work with has had a Jim Rice BoSox jersey for years and gets comments on how awesome it is every time he wears it. You’ll never be sorry to wear their jersey because they won’t leave the team, or otherwise make you sorry you spent $200 on them.

    I’ve been contemplating getting a Nats jersey, but having a team that’s 5 years old makes it tough. I’m thinking getting Walter Johnson’s number would be pretty sweet, though.

    Good luck!

  8. rockymountainway

    Ah yes Cabo Wabo. Cool enough place just don’t drink that tequila because it’s horrible! That’s cool you sacrificed it in the way you did. At least you have a story! I rock a single Rockies jersey unnamed and it too has seen it’s share of many games and years but bleach seems to keep it up and running. I should look for a replacement soon enough but I’ll keep it till it falls off.

  9. ccrbirdbrained

    I actually think Cabo Wabo tequila is pretty good, although I have come across a few brands that are a little smoother. The trick is to always make sure it says 100% De Agave on the label or you’re in for a rough night and a rougher next morning.


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